December 8, 2023
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Book Reviews SCI-FI

Sentinel Stories: Transcendence by Katherine Parker – Bending the laws of physics

Author: Katherine Parker

Genre: Science fiction

Year Published: 2023

Nerdection Rating:

“Nerdection Good Read”

A new team of Sentinels is born with Omar, the Hydrologist Institute’s representatives at the helm of it. Lily, the Aerotrooper Militia’s chosen Sentinel, brings quips along with her wherever she goes.

Ash’s desire for violence, as is the way of the Fire Tribe, burns brightly despite the unusual political plot which planted her firmly in a role where her battle lust would go unfulfilled.

Rounding off the team is Katherine, the Alchemist Conglomerate’s representative who wasn’t really an Alchemist according to their own metric of determination. Mystery surrounds her in a way that keeps everyone on edge in her presence. As the four newly appointed Sentinels seek to complete their assigned duties while sorting through their own personal dilemmas, the enigma that is Katherine receives her own portion of their attention as they try to unveil the secrets of their teammate.

Spoiler-free Plot

The Hydrology Institute is up to something. Their evasive maneuvers during the first of this new Sentinel team’s first mission prove that this is so. The discovery of highly illegal possessions in the belly of one of their facilities dominoes into a slew of hidden crimes, sparking mission after mission to eliminate the crimes of the Hydrology Institute in the form of the sentient beings they have created.

Each member of the team brings a unique skill to the table, all derived from the houses they represent. The gems that energize the suits they wear for every mission, each one harvested by the ever-powerful Alchemists, allow them to manipulate the elements their nations represent. Omar shapes water into whatever form he sees fit while Ash produces biting flames, capable of burning through materials with ease.

Lily sends bursts of pink kinetic energy, damaging anything that lies in her path with beams of an illuminescent rosy glow. Katherine is an outlier in many ways. Her mechanical way of being makes it difficult for her to endear herself to her peers. Her alien status within her own nation ignites the curiosity of her fellow Sentinels.

It is not everyday that someone gets the opportunity to meet someone with virtues as strong as Katherine’s, let alone a supposed member of the Alchemist Conglomerate, known for their money-hungry and arrogant way of being.

There is more to Katherine than meets the eye. The secrets she harbors in the writing that dances across her glasses as she stares off into blank space, in her experimentation into gem technology and the biggest one of all—her identity, hold the keys to the answers needed for this Sentinel team to come together for the good of their world. Only their cohesive unit is capable of vanquishing the criminal enterprises that flourish while hidden in plain sight.

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My Take on Sentinel Stories: Transcendence

Straight out of the gate, the dialogue written in Sentinel Stories: Transcendence was an instant highlight for me. It is written into the story in a way that informs readers of background information required to make sense of the world we are thrust into on the first page.

Long spans of history are folded into verbal exchanges between two or more characters, extracting the sometimes clinical aspect of listing such material that some authors are guilty of embracing, and dumping it far away from this read.

What could’ve been listed as paragraphs, devoid of emotion has been condensed into only a few short lines. With the personal opinions and motivations of the characters “speaking” interposed into the words they chose to say aloud. It allows us readers to better align ourselves with whichever side we should or find ourselves more attracted to, thus strengthening our connection with the story.

Stories inclusive of or built around the concept of elemental manipulation are certainly a stand-out within the world of fiction. There are thousands of ways to twist, mold and rework such a simple concept to generate something that is truly your own. With this first volume of the Transcendence installation of the Sentinel Stories series, Katherine Parker has managed to find a gemstone in a lump of coal, so to speak.

The rolling mystery of Katherine—the character—and her unusual powers which challenge the status-quo adds an unexpected twist to what was considered the unambiguous system of elemental manipulation in the world this story takes place in.

My only gripe with this story that was challenging to overlook was the frequent repetition of words whenever I arrived at paragraphs describing logistics, positioning of items and character orientation in their environments. An is an easily amended infraction as far as blunders go. It detracted from the immersive experience readers such as myself have come to expect. But perhaps this sentiment only applies to the pedants among us.

“Sentinel Stories: Transcendence (Volume 1) enchants readers with its vibrant characters, innovative take on elemental manipulation, and compelling dialogue, offering a captivating journey into a world of mystery and unique powers, despite minor instances of logistical repetition.”

Age Rating

13+ year old

Content Warning

Mild violence.

About The Author Of Sentinel Stories: Transcendence

Katherine Parker is a brand new author looking to write her book series for a living. Over the years, she has earned many titles. Whether it be, US Air Force veteran, Civil Engineer, or Electrical Engineer, Katherine was never content with the path life was taking her down. So she gathered the courage to quit. She quit the gender she was given at birth; she quit her well paying engineering job; she quit allowing the difficulty of life to force her down a life that was not hers. Now she walks the harder path in life. She seeks to be a writer who values the art and emotion of her work more than how marketable of a product it is.

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